A woman recording audio in a small room
Jim Kelly
December 18, 2014

Full Circle

Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has 2014's stories - and those of the last 4 and a half years - in the rear view mirror.


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A room full of aging cheese.
Lisa Bralts
December 04, 2014

Small World

Lisa Bralts has long worked with small, artisanal food producers and is quite fond of the concept. But what does it mean in 2014? She reviews author Suzanne Cope's new book, Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits, and the Return of Artisanal Foods, in this episode of Backyard Industry. 


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A kitchen counter with green tomatoes and other ingredients
Lisa Bralts
November 05, 2014

Ode to the October Tomato

The end of tomato season is generally a sad affair for local eaters. In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts discovers that green tomatoes are in disguise - they only LOOK like they're not ready to be eaten. 


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The cover of a book.
Lisa Bralts
August 20, 2014

Words on the Plate

As summer draws to a close, Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts happens upon writer Ava Chin's memoir, Eating Wildly, and discovers that being in the weeds isn't always a bad thing.


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A branch of unripe autumn olives
Lisa Bralts
July 17, 2014

Eat Them to Beat Them

In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts explores the concept of foraging and eating particular invasive species, like the autumn olive, as one way of slowing them down.


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Chickens in a chicken coop.
Lisa Bralts
July 02, 2014

Tour de Coop

As of January 2014, backyard chickens are legal in Champaign, Illinois. What better way to introduce curious friends and neighbors to the concept than to have an open house... for your chicken coop? It seems other wheels are turning, too... Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts investigates.


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A woman's hand is shown shearing a sheep.
Tim Meyers
June 04, 2014

Backyard Industry Video 2.0: Wool Gathering

Ever wondered where the wool your sweater's made out of comes from? All wool is shorn by a person - it's one task that isn't automated! In this, the second video by the Backyard Industry team, Lisa Bralts learns a thing or two (and gets her hands on some clippers) while visiting Seven Sisters Farm in Sidney, Illinois. 

Video

A muskrat swims up a creek.
Rob Kanter
June 03, 2014

Urbana Bestiary

Brushes with urban wildlife are mostly unplanned and often unwanted occurrences. In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts connects with Environmental Almanac's Rob Kanter to have some planned and wanted face time with local fauna - and the local fauna delivers.


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Three jars of pickled asparagus with a cookbook
Lisa Bralts
May 01, 2014

Life Preserver

Food preservation is mostly associated with instructions that must be followed to the letter (OR ELSE) and a crazy frenzy of production during the peak of the growing season. Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has found a cookbook that not only makes the process seem less intimidating, it also soothes with terrific stories and photos, gently encourages production year round, and reminds the reader they don't have to grow it all. 


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A handful of red wiggler worms.
Lisa Bralts
April 23, 2014

Wiggle Room

Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has always been a fan of the worms working in her compost pile at home. It turns out the folks at the Sustainable Student Farm on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus are fans, as well, but on a much larger scale. 


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